The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has identified potential fraud cases on 2 800 accounts from different banks and the South African Post Office (SAPO). The vast majority of these cases are from the Eastern Cape.
In a media release, the Agency said, “As a precautionary measure, SASSA requested banks and SAPO to stop payment on those accounts. This is done so as to prevent fraudulent activity on those accounts by preventing funds from being drawn during the July payment cycle and subsequent ones if necessary.”
SASSA advised affected bona fide beneficiaries whose payments had been stopped to make an affidavit at the police station confirming bank and account holder details. After making an affidavit, a beneficiary must take their bar coded or smart card ID together with the completed affidavit to SASSA. Those using personal banks must bring along proof of banking details from their banks.
In their statement, SASSA assured the public that there is no beneficiary who will not receive a grant they are entitled to, due to fraud they did not take part in.
“As soon as a beneficiary with a stopped payment has reported the matter, SASSA will facilitate a refund after an investigation has been done.
“SASSA and its partners in the banking industry will remain on high alert to ensure that the right grant goes to the right person. Beneficiaries are urged to work with officials and the police to report any criminal activity pertaining to social grants so that these fraudsters can be arrested and finally convicted.”
This comes after news that the Hawks arrested 17 unregistered moneylenders following a joint operation with the Fraud and Compliance Unit in SASSA.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) seized 159 cards and R 85 800 in cash, according to a statement from SASSA. The suspect with the most cards was found with 39 cards and the largest sum in the possession of one suspect was R 11 090. At the time of the arrest, this particular money-lender was still busy transacting, SASSA said in the statement.
According to Section 20(0) of the Social Assistance Act, 2004 (Act 13 of 2004) it is unlawful to transfer/cede or pledge your social grant.
“SASSA urges all social grant beneficiaries not to use their social grants and payment cards to obtain loans, and cede their cards as guarantees for repayment. The Agency is working closely with law enforcement agencies to remedy and curb illegal handling of payment cards and documents by moneylenders.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR SASSA PAYMENT WAS STOPPED
AT THE POLICE STATION
* Make an affidavit at the police station confirming your bank and account holder details.
* Your bar-coded or smart card ID.
* The completed affidavit from the police station.
* Proof of your banking details from your bank.
LOOK AFTER YOUR SASSA CARD
* Don’t give your card to anyone else.
* Under no circumstances tell anyone your PIN (personal identification number). This PIN is the key to your account and allows access to your grant money.
* For more information call the SASSA toll free call centre at 0800 60 10 11.